Guests staying at Legoland Hotels in New York and California can interact with Legoland characters and other aspects of the brand, hotel, and theme parks from inside their rooms using a hands-free, voice-first, guest-engagement platform from Volara, a provider of custom voice-based solutions for the hospitality industry.
“Over the last nine years, the Legoland brand has grown exponentially because we are creating one-of-a-kind, immersive experiences that travelers appreciate,” said James Barton, head of Business Transformation, Hotels for Merlin Entertainments Group. “As we continue to combat the disruption brought on by the pandemic, our partnership with companies like Volara and Google is helping us remain strong and better serve our customers.”
Every room at the newly-opened Legoland Hotel at Legoland New York Resort in Goshen, N.Y., and at both the Legoland Hotel and Legoland Castle Hotel at Legoland California Resort in Carlsbad, Calif., is equipped with Google’s voice-first hotel solutions on Google Nest Hubs with Volara’s engagement software, making it possible for guests to engage with hotel staff and services.
“The pandemic has changed the way people travel [and] as leisure travel continues to pick up dramatically, travelers are choosing hotels that are taking their health and the guest experience seriously,” said Volara CEO David Berger. “Forward-thinking companies like Merlin Entertainments are implementing innovative technologies that provide for a safe and rich guest experience at Legoland Hotels and Resorts. Leveraging Volara’s private and secure conversation management software that sits atop the Google Nest Hub, Merlin Entertainments is optimizing the way people enjoy their hotels and theme parks across the globe.”
With the help of Google Assistant, guests can say things like “Hey Google, call the front desk,” “Hey Google, bring me fresh towels,” or “Hey Google, set a Lego alarm” and receive answers immediately. They can also inquire about poolside cabanas, birthday party packages, restaurant recommendations, and directions to the airport. Guests can even take video tours of the Legoland theme parks, so they know exactly where to find their favorite rides.
While Nest Hubs with Volara have reimagined the in-room guest experience by eliminating the need for high-touch items like bedside alarm clocks and telephones — which guests are certainly taking advantage of — Barton notes that the hubs also provide fun ways to extend the theme park experience to guest rooms.
One example is that families can say, “Hey Google, tell me a bedtime story,” and an immersive themed adventure will be told in the voice of a Legoland character. Plus, each room at Legoland Hotels features a treasure chest filled with Lego treasure, so guests can interact with Google and set out on an in-room treasure hunt by asking, “Hey Google, what’s my next clue?”
“We expected guests would use the solution for those utility functions every guest needs — from calling the front desk to alarms to requesting the information traditionally found in a guest services directory, ” Berger said. “What surprised us was that […] approximately two-thirds of engaged devices are used more than three times per day, while approximately one-quarter of all devices are being used 13 or more times per day. That’s a lot of guests having a lot of fun!”
Merlin Entertainments is committed to protecting guests’ privacy. Therefore, Legoland Hotel guests are not required to sign in to the Google Nest Hub device, and no activity is linked to guests’ personal accounts. In addition, Google Nest Hub is not equipped with a camera, and the device’s physical privacy switch turns off the microphone, so no audio is ever stored, and all activities are wiped from the device when it’s reset for the next guest.